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|Directed by||Ranjan Ghosh|
|Produced by||AP Films Pvt Ltd|
|Written by||Ranjan Ghosh|
|Music by||Mayookh Bhaumik|
|Edited by||Bodhaditya Banerjee|
|Distributed by||Piyali Films|
|Budget||75 Lakhs (Cost of Production)|
Hrid Majharey (হৃদ্ মাঝারে) (English: Live in my Heart) is a 2014 India-Bengali cult love tragedy film written and directed by debutant Bengali filmmaker Ranjan Ghosh. Inspired by Othello and incorporating elements from Macbeth and Julius Caesar, this was the first film in the Bengali language based on the works of William Shakespeare and is internationally considered as one of the top five World Adaptations of Othello. It was first presented as a tribute on his 450th Birth Anniversary in 2014. Critics consider it among the top ten adaptations of Shakespeare in Indian cinema, since 1949.
The movie achieved cult status by having the unique honour of surviving a crucial two-year journey, from its launch in July 2014 celebrating Shakespeare's 450th birth-anniversary, to being showcased at a British Conference on the Bard held in London in April 2016 to mark 400 years of his death.
The Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board enlisted Hrid Majharey in 'Additional Resources - World/International Adaptations of Othello' for their 'A Level Drama and Theatre' course with the theme 'Heroes and Villains - Othello'. Earlier in 2015, the movie was screened at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and was included in their PhD in Cinema Studies ('Shakespeare and Indian Cinema').
Still earlier in its year of release in 2014, it had earned a rare recommendation from Film London in its list of world cinema based on Shakespearean plays. In another major achievement, the film and its screenplay were included in the UGC Literature Archive through the 'Shakespeare in Bengal' project conducted by Jadavpur University.
Hrid Majharey had already created history by becoming the first Bengali film to be shot in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands after a gap of more than three decades. It was shot in 2013 in the Archipelagos. The last time was in 1979 when veteran filmmaker Tapan Sinha partly shot his children's adventure film Sabuj Dwiper Raja in Port Blair.
Math professor Abhijit and trainee Cardiologist Debjani's love story begins one rainy evening on a lonely Calcutta street. And it ends on yet another rainy evening in Port Blair, in the Andaman Islands. In between, lies a roller coaster journey dotted by love and jealousy, faith and delusion, destiny and free will.
The central theme is 'Character is Destiny'. What happens to us in our lives is determined by who we are. It talks about 'Self-fulfilling Prophecy' wherein a prophecy is made to a person and he, in the process of doing everything to prevent it from happening, actually goes about fulfilling it. The film is also about the unattainability of our most cherished dreams. All that we dream of in our lives, most often remain out of our reach.
The film begins with a shot in which a very dishevelled looking Abhijit (Abir Chatterjee) enters the room to find Debjani (Raima Sen) lying dead on the bed. The story goes back to a flashback and we get to see the reason behind such a fatal outcome. Abhijit is a professor of Mathematics at St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He lives with his only sister Mallika who is a crime journalist by profession. A chance meeting with a soothsayer (Sohag Sen) who warns Abhijit to stay away from love for his own good is not given much importance by the professor. One rainy night he comes across a beautiful damsel in distress Debjani, stranded, as her taxi has broken down. He gives Debjani, a trainee heart surgeon, a lift in his car and Cupid strikes. They date and fall in love. Abhijit, however, faces a problem at his job when an infatuated student proposes him. He rejects and in retaliation she does something to get back at the professor. He is initially arrested, and then ostracized by one and all. Faced with such grave issues at work, he goes to the Andamans along with Debjani in search of a new life. There they meet Subhro (Indrasish Roy) who is Debjani's junior from their high school days. Subhro runs an NGO at Port Blair and composes music in his pastime. Subhro and Debjani spend time together rejuvenating their old friendship. At times, Abhijit gets jealous of Subhro’s unwavering attention on Debjani. Subhro dies in an accident and this leaves Abhijit in a confused state. He begins to question himself about the prophecy of the soothsayer. What actually happens next? Does Abhijit leave Debjani? And how does she die?
- Abir Chatterjee as Abhijit Mukherjee
- Raima Sen as Debjani
- Indrasish Roy as Subhro Sarkar
- Barun Chanda as Professor Sen
- Sohag Sen as Ho Chin Hua
- Arun Mukherjee as Pagla Dashu
- Tamal Roychowdhury as Professor Basu
- Madhuchhanda Ghosh as 'Reba Maashi'
- Tanusree Goswami as Mallika Mukherjee
- Prasun Chatterjee as Indra Halder
- Aditya Sengupta as Amit Mishra
- Sonali Sanyal as Shinjini Mitra
- Breeti Sarkar as Niomi Dey
Scripting and pre-production
The first draft of the screenplay was written in 2008 and underwent numerous rewrites till it got a producer in 2012. This was an assignment in the Scriptwriting syllabus at Whistling Woods International Film Institute where Ghosh was a Screenwriting student from 2007–2009.
Pre-production spanned over four months from October 2012 till January 2013. Recce was carried out extensively in Kolkata and twice in the Andaman Islands to scout for apt yet budget-friendly locations. Jet Airways partnered as the travel sponsor for the Andaman Islands recce and shoot.
Principal photography and post-production
The film was shot on the RED EPIC Camera by ace cinematographer Sirsha Ray who had shot Bollywood movies Home Delivery and Aladin and Bengali films Clerk, Shabdo, Shesher Kabita and Apur Panchali, among others. The first day of the shoot was on 3 February 2013. The film was shot over a period of 23 days with 13 days shoot in Kolkata and the remaining 10 days in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Being the only other Bengali film (after Sabuj Dwiper Raja-1979) to be shot in the Archipelagos, Hrid Majharey also became the first ever Bengali film and one of the rare Indian films to have been shot inside the hallowed cells of the Cellular Jail in Port Blair. The crew also filmed at Ross Island, Havelock Islands, Chidia Tapu, Corbyn's Cove Beach, Munda Pahar Beach, Wandoor Beach, Aberdeen Bazaar, the Marine Jetty, and at a host of other private and Government owned locations.
In 2015, the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations Board enlisted Hrid Majharey in 'Additional References - World/International Adaptations of Othello' for their 'A Level Drama and Theatre' course with the theme 'Heroes and Villains - Othello'. Prominent international movies in the exclusive list of nine were A Double Life (USA, 1947), All Night Long (UK, 1962), Catch My Soul (USA, 1974), O (USA, 2001), Omkara (India, 2006), among others.
Shakespearean experts consider Hrid Majharey as a major film from India that has deftly handled the Shakespearean themes, and have included the movie in their list of Top 10 film adaptations of Shakespeare's works, since 1949. In their own words, "Over the years, Indian cinema has taken his unforgettable characters and resurrected them, making sure that the Shakespearean dynasty multiplies by the dozen. The ten faces we’ve chosen are pukka Shakespeare-wallahs. They have the Bard’s blood flowing through their veins. Together, they just prove one thing – when anything from Stratford gets stratified in India, the result is always A-one." The list includes classics like Ganasundari Katha (1949), Angoor (1982), Kannaki (2001), and Maqbool (2003), among others.
The film was the focus in the 'Bengali Shakespeares' Chapter at an international conference titled 'Indian Shakespeares on Screen' jointly held by the British Film Institute and The University of London in April 2016 in London to mark 400 years of the Bard's demise.
|1.||"Emni Korey"||Prasenjit Mukherjee||Kinjal Chattopadhyay||4:17|
|2.||"Jaa Urey"||Kaushik Ganguly||Kaushiki Chakrabarty||3:04|
|3.||"Dekhechhi Roop Shagorey"||Traditional Folk||Rajib Das, Ishita Chakravarty (vocals)||5:10|
|4.||"Tomaay Hrid Majharey Rakhibo"||Traditional Folk||Zeenia Roy||5:50|
|5.||"Hrid Majharey Theme"||Instrumental||Instrumental||4:07|
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